Friday, October 30, 2015

Mischief Made

As you may or may have not learned, each of us have had the experience of starting our own companies, and now have come together as a partnership creating The Pink Collar Life. In order to maintain a strong relationship, we are honest and supportive of one another, and have the same attitude toward those in our field. 

Early this year, Tara discovered Mischief Made, a recently started business on Frequently searching for new or vintage items on the popular site, Tara came across the shop, finding several Tshirts that were fitting to her vintage inspiration and love of novelty design. One was not enough, so Tara ordered two just before her trip to Viva Las Vegas. Upon opening the package, the designs were even better in person, and the soft jersey-like cotton was perfect for that feminine casual look. The designer of Mischief Made, Yuri, spotted Tara's images during the Viva Las Vegas weekend, and our relationship started there!

Tara pictured at Viva Las Vegas 2015

Yuri is a female artist, originally from Japan who is now located in Los Angeles. She portrays the Pink Collar attitude toward other females in the business, and has made many relationships in the short time since Mischief Made began in December 2014. The Pink Collar Life has since done modeling for Mischief Made on her Etsy shop, as well as two features for several of her self-made designs on The Pink Collar Life blog….Double Trouble Mischief and Pincurls Poodles and Pie Oh My!

It's always fun to know about the creator behind a company, so here's a little about Yuri, in her own words...

"I started to draw about 4 years ago. I've had many experiences as a sales person, designer, and pattern maker in Japan. After I moved to LA, I started to make Tshirts. Then, I started to focus on drawing. I think if you draw a lot, you can improve your drawing skills. The important thing is to have an idea for a Tshirt, not an image to stand alone. I'm always thinking about how good my drawings work as Tshirts. I collect images from the 1940~60s, and I usually make designs inspired by images from my collection, or I will decide a theme first and look for images that match."

It was after our work on Pincurls, Poodles, and Pie, that Yuri told us that she had been thinking about The Pink Collar Life when creating that fabulously, fun design. Two poodles on a girls date, sitting at a cafe is so perfectly fitting, especially since we jokingly refer to ourselves as poodles. But that was not all, our discussion with Yuri progressed to creating an original PCL collaboration design!

Original sketch by Yuri of Mischief Made

Original reference photos..

Yuri says, 

"This time, I've been thinking how I can use PCL's pink theme. I looked at a lot of your pictures, clothing, lots of stuff.... I picked up many things from photos. You've modeled my shirts before, which made the process a lot easier since I had a good idea already about your style. The 'Double Trouble' title comes from a vintage book. Also, last time our feature had the same title. So, obviously I like it a lot! This design comes from the PCL blog and vintage clothing."

The Double Trouble duo BTS!

The Double Trouble design came so easily, that a second Pink Collar Life collaboration Tshirt was created. The idea of pink flamingos could not have been more perfect considering they are feminine creatures, are frequent images in mid-century design, and are PINK!

"Pink Flamingo's design comes from a 50's towel. I just mixed in PCL flavor!" ~Yuri

Those flamingos are wearing teeny-tiny black ribbons with T & A initials on them 

"In the future, I want people all over the world to discover my Tshirts. That's why I use models from many countries. I'll just keep doing this and creating and having fun. Above everything,  I love it!" ~Yuri

The Pink Collar Life / Mischief Made designs at Liberty Vintage in Long Beach, CA

Get your Double Trouble Tee here & your Pink Flamingo Tee here!

<3 T & A

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Spiderpool

This might be the most special story I've ever told on The Pink Collar Life. Seeing as we're now in October, I figured this would be the perfect time to share with you the story of the infamous Spiderpool, and the history behind this haunting Hollywood gem. As you know, historical places of interest fascinate us, but the Spiderpool is unmistakably and easily the most evocative place I've visited. Special thanks to photographer Tom Stratton and Matt for including me on your adventure.

Pink Collar Gal Jacquelyn Prescott, in pink and pearls at the pool

 As a burlesque performer, Tara has always been enamored and inspired by the scintillating dancers of an earlier era, and both of us have an appreciation of all things vintage fetish, burlesque, and cheesecake. The 1920's - 1960's are the years we are most inspired by, whether it be through fashion, art, or architecture. The Spiderpool is enriched with so much history and mystery, that it covers all of the above, and I'm forever grateful that I got to experience it.

(C. 1920's-1930's) Let's begin by explaining what this Spiderpool actually is. The Spider wall that you see - surrounded by mosaic tiles and foliage, is the remaining part of a pool and property that was once built and owned by Jack McDermott. This Jack fellow was indeed a Jack of all trades, as he was an actor, writer, producer, and director and an eccentric character to say the least. As the Hugh Hefner of the 20's, he built an eclectic home in the Hollywood Hills in which he often hosted wild and lavish swimming parties. The home was built with old movie props and things he collected from sets, making it rather bizarre, but ultimately a hit. Friends and neighbors dubbed it "the crazy house," complete with trap doors, hidden rooms, upside down rooms and much more oddities!  

Melody Ward
More Melody Ward

Wait until you hear just how the spiderpool came to fruition - which was similar to Jayne Mansfield and her Pink Palace. Jayne would call furniture and building suppliers asking for free samples, and in the end received over 1.5 million dollars (today's equivalent) in decadent decor! Jack contacted tile suppliers from France and Italy, posing as a dealer, in which he received thousands of free tiles, leading to the unique look and mismatched tiles of the pool. When I said wild swimming parties, I meant it - Jack provided all of the women who were swimming in his pool with disintegrating bathing suits, which they did not know until they went in. This was the original Playboy Mansion Grotto of that era!

Dixie Evans by Harold Lloyd

(C.1940's) Sadly, Jack was found dead from an overdose of barbiturates in 1946. Six months later, the property was burned badly by a fire, and suffered extensive damage. The house was never repaired and in it's condition it remained, abandoned for years. In 1962, the last of the home's remains were torn down...

(C.1950's-1960's) However, during the 50's and early 60's, some magic was happening beyond the walls, at the pool. Underground camera clubs were visiting the property and taking photos of nude models around the Spiderpool. These photography clubs had to be extra secretive as circulation of such nature was against the law, but the Spiderpool was the perfect location being very remote and hidden in the hills for no one to be seen. Burlesque star Dixie Evans, B-movie star Tura Satana and famed fetish artist John Willie all photographed at the pool in it's heyday, along with many others. Silent film producer Harold Lloyd frequented the pool quite often, as he also loved photographing nude women. Aside from his Spiderpool work, Lloyd also took well known and loved photographs of Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield.

(C.1990's-current day) When the internet boom happened, dozens of these photos started surfacing on "the net" and people were noticing the re occurring spider mosaic in the background of these cheesecake photographs. To this day, very few people know where it's remains are. What's left of the decaying pool sits on someone's private protected property and is extremely difficult to reach in every way, terrain wise especially. 

Bettie Blue presumed to be shot by John Willie

Jackie Hilton
Diane Webber

Dixie Evans
Dolores Del Monte
A young Tura Satana
Tura Satana
Jacquelyn Prescott
More Jacquelyn... 
Prescott was a Playboy Playmate - Miss September 1957

Playboy 1957

When Tom asked if I wanted to shoot some nostalgia at the pool, I was very nervous and hesitant. It was the dead of summer and there were lots of treacherous "hurdles" to get through. I was completely winded, but happy that I made it miraculously unscathed (sorta). After the dust settled though, magic was made. This is "Hollywood Virtue" by Tom Stratton...

You can see how badly the decay is, from the current photos vs. the old. The actual pool itself is now non existent, as tiles continue to trickle down the mountain. I managed to find a few pieces of these historic tiles at the bottom, that had fallen from above.

There hadn't been "cheesecake" style photographs taken here in over 50 years, until this day. You can find actual photographs of models at the pool that have been recovered on eBay, ranging anywhere from $80 + each

Wearing an appropriate jumpsuit by Vintage Inspired by Jackie  

In hopes of preserving it's history, I will stop here.

<3 Ashlyn

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hotel Del Coronado

The Hotel Del Coronado is an iconic landmark also known as "The Lady who Lives by the Sea," sitting right on the San Diego coast. The Hotel Del was built more than 125 years ago and has been a beacon of grandeur and refinement among luxury vacation destinations in not only Southern California, but worldwide. This hotel is one of my favorite landmarks, being that it evokes not only happy childhood memories, but the glitz and glamour of the golden age - all with a twist of spectacularly-spooky stories. From princes and princesses to politicians and presidents, the Lady by the Sea has seen it's share of prominent people...

In 1885, San Diego was affected by "The Glory Years," as Southern California was seeing it's first big boom in real estate. Land developers quickly took the opportunity to build the most grand hotel, as towns were ranked in accordance to the opulence and size of their leading hotel. Opulent it was! With it's Norman architecture exterior, and interiors of persian and oriental influences seen throughout the ornate rugs, tapestries and furnishings, this was turn of the 19th century and many flocked to it's grand opening in 1888. Today, the inside is still rich and lush with dark wood and gold accents, dimly lit chandeliers and decadent carpets. What I absolutely love is the ornate brass cage elevators, complete with a sweet elevator operator dressed in uniform and ready to take you up or down. L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz, designed the crown chandeliers in the dining room. It’s said that the Del was the inspiration for his "Emerald City of Oz."

As I mentioned above, there is some spooky history and happenings concerning the Del, and it seems to be just the month for some scary story telling. Many people who gush over ghosts, will try to book rooms 3327 or 3519 hoping to experience the paranormal activity of Kate Morgan. In 1892, 24 year old, pregnant Kate was having a quarrel with her card shark husband when she quietly checked into the hotel and waited days for him to show. She was seen on the fourth day of her stay, but the next morning, she was found dead with a bullet in her head and gun in hand, near the steps leading to the sea. Aside from Kate's ghost, many report seeing a boy and a girl running up the hallways and stairs, and phantoms in the hotel hallways. Flickering lights, off scents, and billowing curtains are all common occurrences seen by staff and guests.  I remember staying here as a child, and being very intrigued after hearing it was presumed to be haunted. The hotel does feel very old and erie, and at night there is always a light under the door that glows and changes, complete with creaks and strange sounds. But this didn't bother me - at ten years old my idea of the best birthday party was holding seances to contact Marilyn Monroe. I know my friends thought I was nuts...

Which brings me to our dear Marilyn - of course! The Hotel Del Coronado made Hollywood history in 1958, when Billy Wilder and crew filmed the classic comedy "Some Like it Hot." Starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Marilyn Monroe, the racy romantic romp was voted #1 Comedy of all time by the American Film Institute. Made to look as though the movie were in Florida, Miami's mayor reportedly said it was “a sacrilege” to allow Southern California to assume the role of Florida’s “Sunshine State.” But the Golden State won, making it the perfect back drop for the film that was set in the 30's.  

Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as "Daphne & Josephine"

It was said that Marilyn felt relaxed at Hotel Del during filming. When asked if this were true, Wilder had said,“That was fun. We had a good time there. Marilyn remembered her lines…everything was going according to schedule.” According to another source, Wilder speculated that Monroe was inspired at The Del, where adoring spectators and fans were seen in mobs, as she preferred a live audience.
-Billy Wilder
"The 200 member cast and crew – most of whom made the trek from Los Angeles to the hotel via train – were housed at The Del for the duration of the shoot, a little more than a week. During filming, Marilyn Monroe was accompanied by her husband, esteemed playwright Arthur Miller, who made a special trip from the East Coast to join her at The Del. Also in Monroe’s entourage was acting coach Paula Strasberg, along with Monroe’s secretary and press agent; Coronado policemen were assigned to guard Monroe throughout her stay. A last bit of Del trivia: During her stay, a hotel chef reported that Marilyn fancied his cold soufflĂ© vanilla pudding with egg-white decoration, which she requested daily." ... according to The Hotel Del Coronado. 
Hotel Del in all it's original glory - vintage colorized photograph c. 1900
One of my favorite collaborations, with my friend Susana - Vestige Photography based in San Diego

Marilyn seen on set, in costume. Her pale complexion against the silvers, skies and sea, is ever inspiring

Inspired by Marilyn as "Sugar Kane," I wanted to dress as though filming never ended. I wore a classic ensemble with a nod to the 1959 film, wearing a vintage 50's wool wiggle dress woven with silver and gold specs of lurex. Shot in winter, this was just perfect <3

Festive at it's finest - How could I not wear my vintage gold Palm Trees brooch?

The late 50's and early 60's saw a change in the silhouettes of shoes, as pointy toe pumps made an appearance. I knew some gold heels were the perfect pick, and it seems Marilyn approves!

We love San Diego for it's unique beach-side charm and mid-century moments (and older) - still surviving. Stay tuned for more of our favorite spots south of Hollywoodland...

For more bombshells and beautiful photos, follow Vestige Photography and find her on Facebook 

That's a wrap, 

<3 Ashlyn